Now The Legal System Has Decided To Play God

In February, CBS News posted a story about a couple in who received more than $ 21 million in damages because of the “wrongful birth” of their son. My heart goes out to this couple–they have two small children who have severe birth defects. The suit was filed against the doctor who declared that the second child would be normal–a misdiagnosis.

On March 11, the New York Daily News reported that an Oregon couple had been awarded $2.9 million for the “wrongful birth” of their Down’s Syndrome child.

The Daily News reports:

Ariel and Deborah Levy won their “wrongful birth” suit against Legacy Health System, arguing they chose to continue their pregnancy based on what doctors told them, according to ABC News, and would have terminated it if they had not been assured their baby did not have the genetic condition.

I don’t know what to think of this. I can’t imagine the struggles involved in raising a handicapped child, but I also can’t imagine the guilt of knowing you aborted a child because you didn’t think it was perfect. There is no easy answer to this, but I think suing doctors for millions of dollars is about as far from the right answer as you can get. Is “wrongful birth” significantly different from “wrongful life?”

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